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September 2011
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Tetradymia canescens also known as Gray Horse brush, Horse brush or Spineless gray horse brush – a perennial shrub

Image of Tetradymia canescens plant at Google

Tetradymia canescens which is also known as Gray Horse brush, Horse brush or Spineless gray horse brush is a perennial. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to California to New Mexico. This is a high branched shrub that can grow up to a height of 8 to32 inches. The branches are spreading and ascending in nature. The color is similar to that of sagebrush. The flowers are of bright yellow to cream color. The color most common is lemon yellow in this variety. They bloom from May to September. The root sprouting and seed sprouting causes the growth of flowers. The flowers have long hairs surrounding them. There are 4-6 bracts in one head which gave its name Tetradymia since tetra means 4. The flowers resemble rabbit brush but are larger in appearance. The shrub bears densely silky achene.
The leaves are narrow and lance shaped. They appear alternately in blades which are about ¾ to 1 inch in length. The leaf margin is entire and the midvein is prominent. They are wooly and have a silvery appearance. The shrub has erect stems and is branched high. The bark is gray and is shredded. The stem appears knobby.
Growing conditions for Leucophyllum canescens:

• Sow the seeds in autumn.
• This plant needs full sun and so select such a location.
• The shrub grows with hardiness of USDA 8 and with a temp of to 18°F.
• This herb needs well drained soil.
• Add sandy compost in a greenhouse and sow the seeds.
• The seeds emerge seedlings and this is when prick the seedlings and transplant them in pots.
• Transplant them in late spring or early summer.
• Plants can be divided in early spring.
• Grow the plants in light shade until they root well.
• Plant them outside in summer.
• If cuttings are taken, plant in summer.
• Water this plant on alternate days for a week.
• This plant likes dry conditions.
• Pinch off the top of the stem to ensure new growth after 4 weeks.

Care for Leucophyllum canescens

• This perennial herb needs gritty well-drained soil.
• The perennial needs sunny position.
• It tolerates dry soils.
• Do not disturb the root once the plants are established.
• Fertilize this wormwood using liquid or general fertilizer every spring.
• Mulch the plant around to about 2-3 inches.
• Prune the shrub periodically for encouraging new growth.
• Add compost while planting.
• This plant needs about an hour of sunshine minimum daily.
• Prune the old leaves in the fall season.

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